By Ronald Sampson
We all know the reputation of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the biggest golf event in Arizona every year: wild, raucous, salacious, and whatever other adjective you’d use to describe an excellent party. And now, they’re about to turn the volume up to 11…with sports betting.
The Scottsdale City Council, in conjunction with the Tournament Player’s Club of Scottsdale, adopted a resolution amending their lease agreement from 35 years ago, paving the way for a sportsbook facility to be made in an adjoining building.
And just like that, the Waste Management Phoenix Open somehow managed to get more wild, raucous, and salacious, and it’s fantastic.
It’s no secret that the Scottsdale City Council in its current makeup has been occasionally frustrating. It has been deemed the “no growth council” by some, and there is a degree of merit to that. Building standards have gotten so high that many developers are giving up, leading to a lack of housing availability and very high rents. While we can appreciate the NIMBY wave that Mayor Ortega rode in on, and that his career as an architect will by nature lead to higher building standards (which leads to some positive outcomes, like the rejection of Greenbelt 88), many in the industry have had to scratch best laid plans over relatively light disagreements.
But I’ll give credit where it’s due: they are not simply the Council of No, as this has demonstrated. What could have been a pearl-clutching exercise in fear-based rejection a decade ago easily passes this council. And while perhaps we shouldn’t be lauding praise over that which should be obvious, it is still heartening to know that there is a temperament of sanity and reason in the council, even when we may disagree.
So here’s to the Scottsdale city council for knowing a good time and a great opportunity when they see it. We would love to see them together at the Open, having a few beverages, placing a few bets, and loosening up. Perhaps there will be a little less friction and contention between members, and maybe, just maybe…that loosening up may manifest itself in other potential votes.